Retired judge to review Saanich PD internal investigation into unlawful arrest
A Saanich Police officer accused of using unnecessary force to unlawfully detain a citizen but who was later cleared in an internal investigation isn't out of the woods just yet.
Andrew McLean was riding his bicycle early last year when he was stopped by Saanich Police Cst. Francisco Aviles, who was investigating a nearby arson and asked McLean to see his identification. McLean argued he wasn't legally obligated to provide his ID, prompting Cst. Aviles to use force in arresting McLean for obstruction.
The officer then searched McLean's property before releasing him without recommending criminal charges.
McLean later lodged a complaint. An internal Saanich Police investigation found Cst. Aviles did not have reasonable grounds to arrest McLean, but the officer's ignorance of the law didn't constitute misconduct.
The Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner, however, disagrees, ruling that ignorance on its own doesn't rule out misconduct. Retired judge Wally Oppal has now been tasked with reviewing the matter and, if necessary, acting as the discipline authority.